Lessons from Nepal quake put to use in Gurgaon

  • Abhishek Behl and Sohil Sehran, Hindustan Times, Gurgaon
  • Updated: Oct 28, 2015 12:49 IST
The drills carried out in Gurgaon earlier this month will be replicated on a smaller scale in the city every four months. (HT file photo)

After the earthquake in Nepal earlier this year, the Gurgaon administration had sent a team to the country for not only relief work, but also to assess the situation and study various aspects of the quake fallout. Additional deputy commissioner Vinay Partap Singh, who is also the chief executive officer (CEO) of the District Disaster Management Authority, said several observations and lessons from Nepal about disaster management and relief and rescue operations are now being implemented in the city.

Gurgaon falls under Seismic Zone 4 and has a number of faultlines that make it highly vulnerable to earthquakes. It also has more than 1,100 highrises, with the number increasing every year. All these have forced the district administration to look into disaster management seriously.

The first thing the district administration did was to train a group of 100 engineers to identify vulnerabilities in the city’s buildings and suggest retrofitting.

“This programme is unique. We are trying to take it to the higher level. This will help in making the buildings safer,” Singh said.

The district administration has also tied up with Haryana Urban Development Authority (Huda) and the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG) to identify 100 buildings that would be virtually mapped using a Google software, so that, in case of an emergency, relief and rescue teams know where to go and what to expect in a particular building.

The administration had organised a district-level earthquake preparation drill on October 15. Singh said such drills will be held in the city every four months, but on a smaller scale.

Apart from this, 50 villages in the district have been identified where groups of youngsters are being trained to act as first responders.

“The youngsters are being trained in relief and rescue, evacuation, first aid, and other such activities that are crucial during an earthquake,” Singh said.

In addition, around 100 schools in the district have been identified where students would be trained and plans will be prepared for evacuation measures in case of a disaster.

However, the ADC said each school will need a school-specific plan based on their building, number of students, etc.

He also said plans are afoot to set up an independent wireless communication system in Gurgaon district.

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